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Capitals Q&A today with Tracee Hamilton, 9:30 a.m.

Every morning, Post columnist Tracee Hamilton discusses the most amazing and outrageous news from the world of sports. Today's topic: your Capitals.

Tracee's opening thought: Time to panic? Hardly. But the Caps are starting games slow -- giving up nine first-period goals and scoring just on in those three losses. That's a problem that could be magnified in the playoffs. I think the Caps clinched a bit too early and are just champing at the bit to get to the playoffs. And I pooh-pooh the idea of a burgeoning goaltending controversy. How about you?

Join the conversation at 9:30 this morning.

By Sports editors  |  April 1, 2010; 9:18 AM ET
 
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Comments

Why can't we chat with the Post reporters who actually cover hockey?

Posted by: spacecadetkid | April 1, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I imagine that given that she's a sports reporter she's perhaps more knowledgable and at least just as into it as any of us. If the Post wants more reporters to cover the Caps, I'm all for it. I may not read every word of the column, but what's the harm?

Posted by: Sonyask | April 1, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

It's 9:40 and crickets are chirping in the chat room.

Posted by: JillC | April 1, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Oops - an entire list of questions and answers suddenly came up.

Posted by: JillC | April 1, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Who?

Posted by: jincargo | April 1, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

I joined too late to submit my Joe Corvo question.

Maybe you guys can answer it:

Did he and Carolina have some kind of evil behind-the-scenes agreement to send him to Washington to make us even worse than we arleady were defensively?

Perhaps a little revenge for us robbing them of a playoff berth a couple of years ago?

No, I'm not serious but...

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 1, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Someone asked a few threads ago if Detroit ever went through the type of goaltending questions headed into the playoffs like we are now. The answer to that question is a YES. Heading into the 2007-08 playoffs the Red Wings went with Hasek even though he and Osgood had similiar (Osgood's GAA was actually better) records. Hasek was pulled in the 4th game of the playoffs and never saw the net again. Osgood and the Red Wings ended their run by skating the Stanley Cup around Mellon arena.

Posted by: fanohock1 | April 1, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

So who doesnt have goalie issues going in?

Buffalo, Phoenix?

Everyone has some uncertanity right now...Even Detroit who is getting good play has a rookie going in...Boston is a mess having to sit Timmy T.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 1, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Tracee who?

The Caps are great...they have people who know NOTHING ABOUT HOCKEY trying to creep out of the woodwork and talk about it.

If its not listening to Mike Wise ummm-awww for 45 minutes its listening to Traceeeeee somebody talk about the most basics of hockey just to appear educated.

If they win the cup we may have TONY KORNHOLE writing epic 5000 word columns about dynasties or some other jibberish.

Posted by: Redskins2Win | April 1, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

On Versus they did best goalie tandem in the playoff and one guy said Boston had the best tandem with Rask and Thomas. Thomas hasn't looked good lately. But you're right SA-Town, every playoff team seems to have some goalie issues.

Posted by: rachel216 | April 1, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Rask is a beast and he is the only reason the Bruins are even sniffing the playoffs.

I think he may keep some games close in the 1st round if we play them but I dont see the Bruins scoring 3 goals a game even.

Posted by: Redskins2Win | April 1, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

if Varly regains his form, he may not start the first game in the playoffs but after the slightest hiccup by Theo, BB will not hesitate to pull him and put Varly in just like he did last year.

Posted by: joek443 | April 1, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: joek443 | April 1, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I think most of the playoff teams have their goalies set. Pittsburgh, Buffalo, New Jersey, Boston, and Montreal in the East all have one main goalie, although Boston and Montreal each did change who their main goalie was mid-season. San Jose, Vancouver, Phoenix, Nashville, LA, and Colorado all do as well. Most of them do have a second goalie who saw significant time, but few of them will get any ice time come the playoffs. I don't think the Caps have any real goaltender controversy though - unless Theo falls apart in the playoffs.

Posted by: timmyv38 | April 1, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Tracee was an editor for a long, long time before becoming a columnist. She edited hockey gamers, features and columns before many Caps Insider readers were even alive, before (and after) the Caps were good. So it's not very nice (or smart) to say she knows nothing about hockey and is trying "to creep out of the woodwork." She's been here the WHOLE time!

Posted by: Lindsay_Applebaum | April 1, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

that's true, since Bob Fachet the guys who cover the Caps don't stay at the job forever... just look at Rachel Nichols and Lacanfora

Posted by: joek443 | April 1, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

AFTER Bob Fachet I meant...

Posted by: joek443 | April 1, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

what a powder puff Q and A.

Generic questions followed by generic answers. Very disheartening.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 1, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

No disrespect intended Lindsay but if she was here the whole time then why is she just now choosing to "come out of the woodwork" when the Caps are neari9ng the end of a historic season. Sorry, I don't buy it and I have been reading Caps gamers since the 70's and can't remember hearing her name tied to the Caps in the past either.

Posted by: PhilR | April 1, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Just because someone has been around...doesn't mean they know what they are talking about.

Posted by: jincargo | April 1, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

gee why does that even matter??

I want all of them to come on the bandwagon, even Wilbon... LOL

Posted by: joek443 | April 1, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Seriously WAPO, can't we do a little better on manning Q&A?? why not Tarik??

Posted by: doughless | April 1, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

I joined too late to submit my Joe Corvo question.

Maybe you guys can answer it:

Did he and Carolina have some kind of evil behind-the-scenes agreement to send him to Washington to make us even worse than we arleady were defensively?

Perhaps a little revenge for us robbing them of a playoff berth a couple of years ago?

No, I'm not serious but...

Posted by: tmac2yao | April 1, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I'll take this one.

McPhee favors the stereotypical "puck mover" on D. He favors that quality over all others.
That's about the long and short of it.

When you look at the deals for defensemen around the league over the past year or so, the teams who favor a stronger defensive philosophy keep going after the more "defensive defenseman" types.
Its nothing more than a philosophical choice to go get a Corvo. I have a hard time believing McPhee was ever interested in Andy Sutton. Hamhuis I could believe, and I would have been happy (not ecstatic) getting him instead of Corvo. At least Hamhuis competes hard and has an edge to his game. Sutton has an undeserved reputation as a lumbering oaf. He's better than that, but doesn't quite fit what McPhee looks for in his draftees. I wouldn't be surprised to see Patrick McNeill get a serious look next year as well, he's another undersized offensive dman that McPhee drafted who can't play defense very well.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 1, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

didn't someone say the other day that he felt sick talking about Corvo all day?

guess some people never learn.. LMAO

Posted by: joek443 | April 1, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

on a sidenote, Steve Eminger had a goal, an assist, and was a +5 last night. Along with a big open ice hit on Cody McLeod. Maybe he's finally hitting his stride.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 1, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

I'm just runnin my own Q n A here Joe. Care to submit any questions?

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 1, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Ok, to defend Tracee...she's recently started a daily sports chat. She rotates around the various topics of the day. She has actually covered the Caps more than I would have expected, and she has seemed to be pretty knowledgeable about the Caps, and hockey in general. They only brought it up in the Insider because she was planning to focus on the Caps this morning. Chill out, people.

Posted by: kenjabi | April 1, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

yeah I got a question... who would you rather have on your team, scott stevens or wayne gretzky?

Posted by: joek443 | April 1, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I just really hope the first playoff game is Thursday the 15th because I have plans the 16th..The Wizards have a game the 14th, so we know it wont be then.

Posted by: SA-Town | April 1, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

From reading the questions/answers, Tracee was not the one who didn't know what she was talking about. It turns out there is such a thing as a stupid question.

Posted by: JillC | April 1, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Scott Stevens

Next.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 1, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

somehow that doesn't surprise me... not in the least

Posted by: joek443 | April 1, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Jim Schoenfeld wants Tracee to have another donut.

Posted by: SteveNaismith | April 1, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I might take Orr over Gretzky but Stevens over Gretzky? never in a million years...

Posted by: joek443 | April 1, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Geez Lindsay, there are some people here that just can't and won't be pleased. But there are far more that do appreciate the effort. Thanks.

Posted by: _Mark | April 1, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

actually, its not that simple. If I was starting a brand new team I'd opt for Stevens. If I had a good nucleus in place of leadership and defensive play, I'd go with Gretzky.

Gretzky never had to be a leader in Edm. He had 7 or 8 of the best leaders in hockey to play around him and protect him so he could maximize his potential. Stevens was the kind of guy who inspires everyone around to raise their games.

I won't argue who the "better" player is since the criteria for that is very subjective and depends on the circumstances. Gretz is obviously considered the best of all time with his gaudy numbers. But if I'm looking for on-ice play combined with every great intangible quality in a hockey player, I'd have to go with SS as my first pick to build a team around. You can always win the Cup with a great defense and a mediocre offense. But I have never seen a team with the Cup with a great offense and a mediocre defense. The closest to that was probably Tampa.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 1, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"In the end, it was just a case of the Caps having two very good choices for captain and they had to pick one, and everyone knows Ovie can handle the spotlight."

Posted by: sgm3

Why is there so much chatter and misinformation about the Captaincy? The team Captain had been chosen unanimously by the team.

Listen to the Capitals Report (Jan. 6 I believe) the day after Ovi was named Captain. Ovi had stated that he would not take on the role unless that is what the team wanted. When polled individually all the players chose him. When it was announced to the team the cheer was so loud that it could be heard outside the soundproofed room. He was the leader of the Caps already, both on and off the ice.

In the recent (good) article I linked earlier from a Pittsburgh paper about Ovi, one anecdote had Carlson talking about what a regular guy Ovi is and how seriously he takes his mentoring of the young players. He sat down next to Carlson and asked him questions about his OT gold winning goal in the Junior Worlds Championship game.

We fans are on the outside. We know nothing really. We only surmise. I believe the players and management have a better idea than we do of who would be the best Captain for this team.

And it's done. He has the C. You don't un-ring the bell, so to speak.

I might add that after he was awarded the C this team went on its amazing winning streak. That is also a sign of leadership. And IMO why he is the most valuable player to this team and worthy of the Hart.

Posted by: Capsyoungguns | April 1, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Both Gretz and Stevens had great impacts on teams which werent' very good at the time they arrived. If I recall correctly, Stevens took the St Louis Blues to 2nd place overall in his first (and only) season there. Arrived there as the captain and steered them to a great regular season, the best in their history I think. The next team he went to, he won 2 Cups with as their captain. So, lets not be dismissive about how great he was.

Gretz took the Kings from obscurity to prominence as well.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 1, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I wouldn't even take Stevens over Langway...

Posted by: joek443 | April 1, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

well thats why I'd never hire you as my right hand man.

Stevens was a better fit for the Devils at the time than Langway ever would've been. The Devils don't win 2 Cups with Langway. Thats speculation on my part of course but I strongly believe that. Langway was a different type of leader than Stevens was. I liken Stevens to Adam Foote. Both were fierce on-ice leaders and their entire teams played very differently when they were in the lineup. The Avs could miss Forsberg easier than they could miss Foote in their heyday. The dropoff in play when Foote wasn't in the lineup was greater.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 1, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

... he's another undersized offensive dman that McPhee drafted who can't play defense very well.
Posted by: cstanton1

Having drafted, just to name a few, Yonkman, Charlie Stevens, Pokulok and Finley, I don't see GMGM discriminating consistently against oversized dmen who can't play defense very well either.

But, in his whole tenure here, drafting a star-quality defensive rearguard is still the biggest void on GMGM's otherwise very decent resume. Alzner of course, was supposed to be just that, and he still may be one day?

Posted by: igor_k17 | April 1, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

you can have your Stevens and Foote.. I would rather have Langway and Robinson any day..

Posted by: joek443 | April 1, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

http://bearsbites.blogspot.com/2010/03/pinizzotto-finally-finding-niche.html

My favorite Hershey player finally gets his due. Leads the AHL in shorties, underrated player in the offensive zone, the best most aggressive PKer in our organization. If he doesn't get a serious look next year, the Caps are really dumb. I'm not even sure if he's signed past this season. But he's very strong on his skates, makes good passes, very good forechecker. He's all about disrupting the opposition. He's also an agitating pest who draws his share of penalties.

Only problem is, he takes his share of minors, mostly for slashing. But thats his style. Unfortunately I could see the Caps try and temper his energy level out there which would have a detrimental effect on his overall game. He needs to play with some reckless abandon, thats what makes him successful.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 1, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Having drafted, just to name a few, Yonkman, Charlie Stevens, Pokulok and Finley, I don't see GMGM discriminating consistently against oversized dmen who can't play defense very well either.

But, in his whole tenure here, drafting a star-quality defensive rearguard is still the biggest void on GMGM's otherwise very decent resume. Alzner of course, was supposed to be just that, and he still may be one day?

Posted by: igor_k17 | April 1, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Charlie Stephens was a LW and center, not a dman.

Pokulok was a puss to begin with, so while he may have been big, he never played that way. Neither does Schultz. Neither does recent Caps pick Eric Mestery. They're all soft for their size.

Finley is the only example of a tough defensive dman, and now he's been converted to forward because his defensive play isn't upto NHL standards. Its not just his skating either.

There were 2 defensive dmen who played with an edge who McPhee drafted. One was Andrew Thomas, never signed. The other was Ted Ruth, who we traded for Fedorov. Funny how the first player to go the other way in a deal is a defensive dman :)

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 1, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Why is there so much chatter and misinformation about the Captaincy? The team Captain had been chosen unanimously by the team.... When polled individually all the players chose him. Posted by: Capsyoungguns

Actually, the team captain was not chosen unanimously by the team. In fact the media knew Ovi had been named Captain before most, if not all, of the players knew. And the players, graciously accepting the move & placing a high value on their contracts & ice time .... naturally were positive when interviewed.
Ovi is touted as being the best NHL player ever & players & fans both respect his skill level and entertainment value; however being the best player does not mean you will necessarily be the best team captain. Captains show up for every practice unless they're injured, captains set a great example for the team (i.e. no suspensions), captains can & do express themselves in a professional manner with the media and captains are team players who encourage and motivate every player.
Other teams will sit a player if they don't show up for practice. Ovi regularly misses practices or leaves early. When the team's PP is suffering ... wouldn't you think practice would be a priority .. especially for the Captain & No. 1 guy on PP? Also, the team has performed better overall when Ovi is NOT playing ... so one has to consider this along with the stats that show the team has won more games since he became captain.
IMHO I think the team would have chosen Laich for captain if they had had a vote ... no disrespect for Ovi.

Posted by: gogetem | April 1, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

i love reading your posts, i wish you were the gm of the caps....scott stevens is my favorite player of all time, and i'd take him over anyone currently on our team

Posted by: vermontcaps | April 1, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

my bad about Stevens - been a while... the fact is, McPhee seems to be a better judge of offensive talent than defensive one - you can point at Semin, Green, Carlson and even Backstrom, as all picked by GMGM lower than they should have gone - but no such pattern when it comes to defensive talent; in fact, it's the opposite.

Posted by: igor_k17 | April 1, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

@cstanton1

i love reading your posts, i wish you were the gm of the caps....scott stevens is my favorite player of all time, and i'd take him over anyone currently on our team

Posted by: vermontcaps | April 1, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

you can be my #1 fan! haha
Stevens was the reason I got into watching hockey.

Posted by: cstanton1 | April 1, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

two guys who think Erskine should play regularly... you two could win a lot of games together...

NOT!!!!!!! LMAO

Posted by: joek443 | April 1, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

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